United States President Joe Biden expressed his outrage and heartbreak over Israel's killing of seven aid workers in Gaza, delivering one of his strongest criticisms yet of the close US ally. The rebuke comes as Biden's administration faces increasing pressure to hold Israel accountable for civilian casualties in its war against Hamas.

"This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult - because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians," Biden said, describing the deceased aid workers as "brave and selfless."

The seven workers, employed by the US-based aid organization World Central Kitchen, were killed on Monday night when their convoy was attacked after unloading food aid in central Gaza's Deir el-Balah city. The victims included a US-Canadian dual citizen, an Australian, a Pole, a Palestinian, and three nationals of the United Kingdom.

Biden's criticism of Israel's actions in Gaza has highlighted the conflicting messages coming from his administration regarding the war. While the US president has become increasingly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, he has also continued to press for more weapons deliveries to Israel, including $18 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets. Since Hamas's October 7 attacks on Israel, Biden has greenlit two emergency shipments of weapons to Israel worth more than $250 million, in addition to the regular military aid allotment of $3.8 billion annually.

The White House's handling of the war has generated growing blowback from progressives, rights activists, Arab Americans, and Muslims, raising concerns within Democratic Party circles about the potential impact on Biden's bid for re-election in November. The administration's decision to cancel a planned Ramadan iftar meal, after several Muslim Americans declined the invitation in protest against Biden's support for Israel, has further underscored the growing tensions.

Netanyahu, in response to the international outcry over the killing of the aid workers, acknowledged Israel's responsibility for the attack, describing it as unintended and "tragic." However, Biden insisted that Israel has not done enough to protect civilians and urged the country to deconflict its military operations against Hamas with humanitarian efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

"Incidents like yesterday's simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians. The US has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties," Biden said.

The US president called for a swift investigation into the incident, demanding accountability and the public release of the findings. He also pledged to continue pressing Israel to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza through all available means.

The killing of the aid workers has also drawn sharp criticism from other world leaders. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, in a social media post, called out Netanyahu directly, stating that the "tragic attack on volunteers and your reaction arouse understandable anger." Tusk added that the incident has put the solidarity between Poland and Israel, which had been shown after the Hamas attack, to a "really hard test."

As the international community continues to express its outrage over the killing of the aid workers, pressure is mounting on both Israel and the United States to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. The incident has also highlighted the challenges faced by aid organizations operating in war-torn regions and the urgent need for greater protection of humanitarian workers.

World Central Kitchen, which had supplied 42 million meals over 175 days in Gaza, has suspended its operations in the region following the Israeli strike, further exacerbating the dire situation faced by Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire of the war. As the conflict continues, the international community will be closely watching the actions of both Israel and the United States, as they navigate the complex political and humanitarian landscape of the region.